Morton’s Neuroma is a painful foot condition that affects one of the nerves between the toes causing the toes to become irritated and thickened. The condition can occur in one foot or both feet as a result of wearing tight running shoes. It usually affects the nerve between the third and fourth toes but occassionaly the nerve between the second and third toes can also become affected. The condition has been linked to other foot problems, such as flat feet, high arches and bunions.
Causes of Morton’s Neuroma
The exact cause of the irritation is unknown but it may be caused by the nerve being squashed (compressed), stretched or damaged.
Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma
Typically, there’s no outward sign of this condition. Instead you may experience some of the following symptoms
● A tingling sensation in the space between your toes which gets worse over time developing into a sharp shooting or burning pain in the ball of your foot or at the base of your toes.
● Numbness in your toes.
● The pain is often worse from wearing tight running shoes that compress the feet.
● A feeling as if you’re standing on a pebble in your shoe.
● A burning pain in the ball of your foot that may radiate into your toes.
If you have persistent symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma it is unlikely to improve on its own you should seek medical advice.
Treating Morton’s Neuroma
Treatment for Morton’s neuroma will depend on how long you’ve had the condition and its severity.
Simple non surgical treatments are effective for some people.
● Changing your footwear with a wider toe area may help ease the pressure on the nerve in your foot.
● A soft cushioning insole for the ball of your foot may help relieve the pressure on the affected nerve.
● Resting your foot and massaging and icing your toes may also help relieve the pain.
● Anti inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can be helpful to ease the pain and inflammation.
● Losing weight may reduce the strain on your feet when running.
Surgery or steroid injections for Morton’s Neuroma is usually only recommended if you have very severe pain or if the treatments above haven’t worked.
In this case, your GP can refer you to a podiatric or orthopaedic surgeon to discuss whether surgery is suitable for you. Surgical procedures include
● Increasing the space around the nerve by removing some of the surrounding tissue.
The procedure is usually carried out using a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic.
Most people who have surgery to treat Morton’s neuroma have positive results and their pain is relieved afterwards.